March 4, 2022
What would you do if you were elected mayor of Boston? Student authors answer this question and share their hopes for the future in 40 inaugural speeches published in 826 Boston’s latest publication, I Was Meant for This: Mayoral Speeches by Boston’s Young Leaders. The book—and companion website—were released in a virtual celebration on March 3, with a special guest appearance by Mayor Michelle Wu.
This fall, Boston was swept up in a competitive mayoral race, filled with more racially and ethnically diverse candidates than ever before. The race inspired 826 Boston to create a book that would allow students from across the city to write inaugural speeches as Boston’s mayor-elect and share their playful and powerful visions for their hometown.
In 826 Boston-led workshops, students talked about the historic mayoral race, watched inauguration speeches, and examined the candidates and their campaigns. They shaped their own candidate profiles: What issues would they choose to focus on? What changes would they make after they were sworn in? Who would they thank?
As 826 Boston’s K-12 Publishing Specialist Miranda Burel shares, some students let their imaginations run wild, calling for free chocolate and ice cream for all. Others wrote of issues they see every day—homelessness, racial injustice, the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
“I don’t think I ever thought about the world around me with the passion and creativity of the would-be mayors of 826 Boston whose work fills this volume,” says Adrian Walker, associate editor at The Boston Globe and author of the book’s foreword. “They are filled with the hopes, dreams, idealism and passion that could someday make for true transformation…These are the speeches—and the voices—of young people who know that they matter, and that their thoughts and dreams matter. We should want that for all young people in every neighborhood of our city.”
I Was Meant for This: Mayoral Speeches by Boston’s Young Leaders can be purchased through 826 Boston’s online store.